Bookmarked for Murder review

This is the fifth book in the Mystery Bookshop series by one of my favorite cozy authors, V.M. Burns or Valerie as she’s known on social media. I love her Dog Club series as well. This book was another winner, and even though I guessed the killer, that doesn’t mean I didn’t temporarily fall for some of the red herrings. Nana Jo is one of my all-time favorite cozy characters, and she really shone in this book.

My Goodreads review:

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #5)Bookmarked for Murder by V.M. Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sam had finally agreed to take a mini vacation from the bookstore and went with her Nana and the other senior sleuths to Chicago. Before they could return home, the guy that Irma was seeing was found dead on the bus. There were plenty of suspects, but somehow I managed to guess the correct one. Of course, as usual, I didn’t know any of the reasoning behind why I picked. It just seemed to be the right person.

The showdown was very exciting…how else would it be with Nana Jo involved? The ending was so heartwarming as everyone was together for the New Year celebration. I loved how Irma was featured in this book, since she always cracks me up, but the attempt on her life wasn’t too funny. I’m enjoying where Frank and Samantha are in their relationship, it’s just very sweet and believable. As always, I’m anxious for the next book in the series!

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Plotting for Murder–review

This was the first book in the brand new Cozy Mystery Bookshop series by Tamra Bauman whose bio says she’s normally a romance writer. I liked how she handled the romance in her first cozy, very nice job! I was undecided on which guy to root for, but by the end, I think I had an idea of what way this might go. But then again, who knows, the next book may surprise me.

I am anxious to read the next book, however I really hope that the author stops using present tense. It did make it a bit harder to read smoothly, but I will say that the rest of the book helped make up for it. The dialogue is some of the best and most normal-sounding (not stilted and too formal, like some I’ve read) that I’ve read. Oh, I can’t not mention little Cooper! That pup has won my heart, he got to be a hero, but over the course of the book, he was helping his mommy’s heart heal.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book via NetGalley, and my opinions are completely my own.

My Goodreads review:

Plotting for Murder (Cozy Mystery Bookshop #1)Plotting for Murder by Tamra Baumann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great mystery, awesome characters and one of the cutest dogs I’ve read about in awhile. I’ll say upfront that I wasn’t a fan of the present tense style and can’t quite figure out why it was used, unless it was supposed to be like Sawyer looking back and writing her memoirs. But even then, it’s kind of annoying, but honestly, I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying a great story. The riddle, clues and puzzle aspect really kept me intrigued.

Other than the constant present tense, it was well-written as far as vocabulary, and the dialogue was actually believable–and real-sounding. The author did a great job of painting the nasty uncle as a total snake, because I absolutely couldn’t stand him–am I awful to wish he’d been offed? But then they’d have thought Sawyer did it lol. At first, I wasn’t sure about Brittany, the store employee, but she grew on me more and more. I just love what good thing happened for her eventually! I liked the romance aspect a lot. It was just the right amount. At first I was one team, but by the end of the book I was ready to switch teams. I won’t say, so I don’t spoil it 😉 The other supporting character of Madge was a lot of fun! I got such a kick out of how she and Sawyer would compare case notes, but Dylan the sheriff knew what they were doing all along. Renee, Sawyer’s best friend was a hoot! She was a happy-go-lucky free spirit and dated a new guy almost every week

I can’t leave out the sweet Admiral! Every mystery needs a fun and quirky character. The author nailed it with the Admiral. I hope he’s around for a very long time! (Can I help it if I pictured him as the famous white-haired star of the old Diagnosis Murder series?) 😉 As far as the killer, I was going back and forth on that one, so it was a little bit of a surprise. But it led to an awesome showdown where little Cooper the mini Goldendoodle got to be a hero, and his mommy wasn’t too shabby either! The sheriff showed up just as my nerves were giving out lol. I thought the ending was satisfying as far as the main mystery, but it was kind of fun to leave a couple of little threads dangling. I’m definitely enticed to read the next book!

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